Bike riders on Main St in Smithers (supplied by: mybulkleylakesnow.com staff)
Watt Consulting Group made a presentation to Smithers Council on Tuesday (Nov 5) to potentially give Smithers an Active Transportation Plan.
The main focuses of the plan are to implement a protected bike lane on Third Ave from Queen to King St., Designate King-Main Street as the North-South Cycling Spine, Address the Missing Link on Railway Avenue, Develop a Bike Count program and Improve the safety to all Highway 16 Crossings.
Discussion was raised about some areas of concern that the plan didn’t touch on like the bridge heading into Telkwa.
Counselor Greg Brown said if the bike lanes don’t get expanded past the bridge bikers will have to cross the highway.
“I would suggest you probably need to extend that off-road cycle path into town,” he said.
Brown also said the intersection at Highway 16 and King St near the Safeway was not mentioned in the plan.
“People are walking across three lanes of traffic and because there’s not a sidewalk beside Petro Canada, it’s sort of just a roadway and they just stand at the Petro Canada, it’s really hazardous for pedestrians,” he said.
The plan has been in the process for about a year according to Tim Shah, Watt Consulting Group Transportation Planner.
To develop the plan the group reached out for public engagement to help develop the transportation plan.
Tim Shah, Watt Consulting Group Transportation Planner said they had 165 survey respondents and 31 photo submissions in one month.
“The idea was asking the community to take photos of active transportation that they like, use on a regular basis but also photos of infrastructures,” he said.
Watt Consulting Group held an open house on the draft plan on Nov 5.
Council will be looking at the plan again and potentially adopting the plan for the Town at the Nov 26 council meeting.